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DanaMac
04-02-2007, 09:52 AM
I am helping a buddy install a system at his new place and was at his house Sunday flagging for heads and painting where he needs to trench (because I'm not digging anything on it). He lives right along and belongs to this country club golf course. Well a guy came walking up that Mark knew, and the guy is actually the brother of the builder of this new house. So Mark told him what we were doing, and he said that he was a "sprinkler guy" as well. Then asked what heads we'll be using. I told him 1804s and either 5004s or PGPs. He asked why not Toro? I told him Toro is crap and repair more of it that anything else and I would never install anything named Toro. He tells me he's installed Toro for 20 years. I told him I've been repairing/replacing Toro for 15. And that was about the end of it.

He was looking at me like I am some punk kid who doesn't know squat. Granted, I do look younger than my age, especially with a new haircut and just shaved.

Wet_Boots
04-02-2007, 10:24 AM
If the guy only used 300 stream rotors and older Toro valve designs, he might be entitled to give you the hairy eyeball.

SprinklerGuy
04-02-2007, 10:34 AM
Maybe he was trained at golf courses...

I used all Toro for awhile as well...in the 80's and 90's....

Duramaxsle1
04-02-2007, 10:36 AM
Toro is another company that can't get it right and changes thier design every so many years and now they look like hunters too. Maybe they should have given Mr.Hunter tried to hang on to him!

BSME
04-02-2007, 10:40 AM
"sigh" - thought I'd save sprinklerguy time and post for him

Spartan distributors is a supplier around here and they don't carry hunter or rainbird (can they be classified as a supplier then?)

anyway... there is a bigger company around here that obviously has an account with them as they advertise everything besides hunter and rainbird and a big part of their ads is how they use the "best quality parts"

BSME
04-02-2007, 10:41 AM
sorry sprinklerguy... you beat me to the post AND i predicted the wrong response

SprinklerGuy
04-02-2007, 10:52 AM
I am WAY too unpredictable to post for ;)

Thanks anyway for the thought.....LOL

DanaMac
04-02-2007, 10:57 AM
He said he uses the 570 and the 3000? Not sure of what models Toro has anymore. All the Toro boxes at my local suppliers have a good coating of dust on them :) :)

Duramaxsle1
04-02-2007, 11:00 AM
We have one guy out of 20 that install Toro's, he does ok but then again we have one guy that installs Maxi-paws too.....lol, I guess if you wait long enough anything can seem like a new idea!!!

Wet_Boots
04-02-2007, 11:15 AM
Toro 300's still have an enviable reliability record. Super700's aren't in the PGP class, but they still function adequately, although I'd need some compelling reason to consider installing a system of them, like a need for reliable low-angle nozzling.

Mike Leary
04-02-2007, 11:16 AM
The only way Toro stays in biz is to buy other companies. I love the
"Stream-Rotor" (Ed Hunter design). Tho oddly, we serviced a system the other day that had Toro valves that have got to be twenty years old & no work ever done....no bleeder, has flow control & huge solenoid, so I guess
Toro did it right, once....Ever see the "greenskeeper" clock?

Duramaxsle1
04-02-2007, 11:21 AM
I look at it this way,

Hunter PGP been around since 1981.
and Rainbird as a company seems forever.
Toro has a name.
Nelson down at the bottom somewhere!!

Wet_Boots
04-02-2007, 11:29 AM
Ever see the "greenskeeper" clock?Which one? I think that Toro used that name for a clock that actually ran on water power. Water pressure ran the mechanism, which actuated hydraulic valves. You needed a drain for the clock water.

Greenguy1
04-03-2007, 07:41 AM
the timer by toro you are talking about is electric but analog, it turns a small valve that turns the water pressure off from the "normally open" hydraulic valves, ohhhhhh I hate these systems!!! I can fix them but I dread it, they are best known for they're clicking noise while turning on a valve, they ran 1/4" tubing for water instead of wire for elect. I am always surprised when they operate normally in the spring. As for Nelson being on the bottom, thats all I prefer to use although I have installed every sprinkler ever made Nelson has been in business longer than any other, had a 5 year warranty while all others had 2 and one head fits all. keep using what you will, If I am around it will be replaced with a Nelson sooner or later. I do use the hunter spray cause it is handy to use and performs Ok but they're rotors do not impress me, I have replaced alot of them that were stripped. P.s. I wish Nelson offered better product support in this area.

Wet_Boots
04-03-2007, 07:53 AM
The electric-motor Toro clocks had names like Monitor, Custom, and for the residential market, Freetime. Most of the Freetime Four clocks I saw ran their normally-closed hydraulic valves, also known as 'pin-type' ~ the old Greenskeeper was totally non-electric, and usable in median strips and similar isolated areas. Way before the introduction of battery-operated clocks and valves.

PurpHaze
04-03-2007, 09:25 AM
It always amazes me when we start bashing certain manufacturer's products. We've had good and bad individual experiences across the board and choose what we will, some based on availability while others by choice. Bottom line: Bet we could all take big box store DIY components and build a pretty good system for our homes regardless what anyone else says about those products. :laugh:

Mike Leary
04-03-2007, 03:39 PM
We probably could build a fair system from the big box; wonder if you get
a free Orbit hat?

Wet_Boots
04-03-2007, 03:58 PM
On a good day, you might luck out at the big-box store. Orbit-labeled PGP's - Lawn Genie valves (Irritrol designs, including a one-off version of the Irritrol AS valve that looks mighty tempting for the money) ~ Timers would likely be crapola. The closest I ever saw to something sold to the trade, was Lawn Genie version of Hardie's Slim Dial controller, which I didn't have a high opinion of anyway. Now, if they have a small Lawn Genie electromechanical clock, that would be something as reliable as it gets.

Mike Leary
04-03-2007, 04:10 PM
Maybe instead of going to I.A., the forum crew should meet at a big box,
It'd be funnier.....Can you buy Lawn Genie beer there?

Wet_Boots
04-03-2007, 04:46 PM
I think that Lawn Genie clock (originally the Richdel R304) has finally been dropped as an Irritrol item. It really worked, and lasted. If the LG AS valve wasn't missing the manual lever operation, it would be a perfect copy of the 2711APR. (not counting color)

Mike Leary
04-03-2007, 05:35 PM
Boots....Is the R304 the clock that has the blue "sliders" on the front to set
run times & a&b programs? We still have one in service...funky, but nice.

Wet_Boots
04-03-2007, 06:49 PM
No, the R304 was really, really primitive. Just a one-rotation-per-day clock wheel, with a gear 'strip' located on the edge. Think rack-and-pinion steering. The gear turned another dial, which had tiny knobs to adjust zone times from 5 minutes up (up to 45 minutes on the R304 four-zone, and up to 30 minutes on the R406 six-zone model, pictured) - as clunky as it is/was it did work, and might have the best longevity record of any clock, period.

And just to show that nothing's perfect, it had a 'watering-on' indicator lamp that was sure to burn out. The pictured model has a LED indicator, so they got that detail squared away at last, in time for the clock to be discontinued.

Mike Leary
04-03-2007, 07:28 PM
Oh yes, that brings back some "service calls from hell".

Wet_Boots
04-03-2007, 07:56 PM
I could see a service call for a homeowner not understanding that oddball clock, but if they were satisfied with turning on the water, and leaving the clock alone, the sucker just kept turning. It gave you a three-hour time window to do the watering. If you didn't set a zone for the max, the clock did not rapidly advance to the next zone. I just did nothing, as the gearing turned the zone dial towards the next zone. The other nice thing, was it had a circuit breaker, when many more expensive controller had fuses.

Notice the six-spoke day-skipper wheel. If you wanted day-of-the-week programming you had to swap the six-spoke for a seven-spoke wheel.

Mike Leary
04-03-2007, 08:45 PM
A simpler time, my friend...some of our systems now, double 48 zoners,
we use 24 programs & all the ISC programs we can cram into it!

Wet_Boots
04-03-2007, 08:59 PM
Back when, every additional zone on a residential job had a cost penalty when the controller was figured in. There was a three zone electromechanical that could run a hour a zone, then the R304, then there was a Batrow 5 zone clock, and then an Imperial Valet. All electromechanical. If you could present a reliable design with 4 zones, there was money saved.

SprinklerGuy
04-03-2007, 09:09 PM
Speaking of Toro

Did a startup today of a full Toro System that was installed in 1999......all original heads and flopro valves...except the drip system which was the 254-06-03 valve

the heads were in great shape...570zp.....

A simpler time when I lived where all systems were Toro....now I live somewhere that is a grab bag....

Sigh.

SprinklerGuy
04-03-2007, 09:10 PM
Speaking of Toro

Did a startup today of a full Toro System that was installed in 1999......all original heads and flopro valves...except the drip system which was the 254-06-03 valve

the heads were in great shape...570zp.....

A simpler time when I lived where all systems were Toro....now I live somewhere that is a grab bag....

Sigh.

Remote Pigtails
04-03-2007, 09:52 PM
No, the R304 was really, really primitive. Just a one-rotation-per-day clock wheel, with a gear 'strip' located on the edge. Think rack-and-pinion steering. The gear turned another dial, which had tiny knobs to adjust zone times from 5 minutes up (up to 45 minutes on the R304 four-zone, and up to 30 minutes on the R406 six-zone model, pictured) - as clunky as it is/was it did work, and might have the best longevity record of any clock, period.

And just to show that nothing's perfect, it had a 'watering-on' indicator lamp that was sure to burn out. The pictured model has a LED indicator, so they got that detail squared away at last, in time for the clock to be discontinued.

At one time this was the most common clock in Dallas. Next time I see the old version that was green with the built in transformer I'll take a pic. Back in the brass head days if someone wanted to step down from an Imperial this is what they got.

PurpHaze
04-03-2007, 11:59 PM
Was it Lawn Genie that was bought by Black & Decker and then bought by Toro or am I thinking of something else?

gusbuster
04-04-2007, 02:09 AM
Was it Lawn Genie that was bought by Black & Decker and then bought by Toro or am I thinking of something else?

As stated you're correct.

PurpHaze
04-04-2007, 01:39 PM
Speaking of Toro

Did a startup today of a full Toro System that was installed in 1999......all original heads and flopro valves...except the drip system which was the 254-06-03 valve

the heads were in great shape...570zp.....

We still use the 570 simply because we have thousands of them already installed in the ground. It's more efficient for us to just change out the guts (if the body is still OK) than to dig the swing joint up and replace the whole thing. Especially helpful since Toro 570 nozzles have male threads and Hunter/Rainbird sprays have female threaded nozzles. We'd have to carry a complete separate nozzle box but that might be coming in the near future. We installed Hunter Pro-Spray bodies on the drip conversion we just completed and I'm quite impressed with them.

We also have Toro 640s in the ground that are working fine. Main problem with them is that the shorter pop-up height can't keep up with the constant ground level increase and ultimately stop rotating. Their stators also need to be matched with the nozzle for the thing to work. Couple that with no adjustable heads (each motor has a preset arc) and you have other limitations. With the availability of large rotors with universal stators and adjustability through the top of the head I feel that the 640 is somewhat outdated in this area of technology. However, we have some that have been merrily going about their business for 20+ years.

We also still have many 300 Stream Rotors in the ground. Rarely do we have to change out the body/motor and some of them have been going strong for 15+ years. We get the occasional clogged nozzle due to backsiphoning of silt into the smaller ports and the head will stop rotating. However, when the 300 stops rotating there's still individual streams of water that shoot out so the area near the head does not totally dry up. About 95% of the time all we have to do is install a new nozzle without disturbing the arc disc and the head starts rotating again.

Dirty Water
04-04-2007, 02:33 PM
I think Koster Irrigation is a big fan of Toro Products.

Mike Leary
04-04-2007, 03:11 PM
I think Koster Irrigation is a big fan of Toro Products.

Is that the company you used to work for Jon?

PurpHaze
04-04-2007, 03:33 PM
Koster's another forum member.

Mike Leary
04-04-2007, 04:01 PM
The Toro #300 "Stream-Rotor" is still my head of choice, the head is a water
eater for sure, but what a pattern! Perfect in turf w/trees. One lag is no
low-drain check is available, so you have to use Hunter's lipstick LDC that has
considerable friction loss. But if you carefully lay them out & get 40-50 psi
TO THE HEAD, the client will fall over! Wish they made a 6". We miss you,Ed.